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Christ carries his cross to Calvary which can be seen in the landscape at the upper left. He has fallen to the ground and Saint Veronica, who kneels to the right, holds out her veil to him. According to Veronica's legend, which is not related in the Bible, she wiped Christ's face with her veil (sudarium), and his features were miraculously imprinted on it. The name Veronica means true likeness ('vera ikon'). Behind her are the Virgin and Saint John.

The composition, like several others by Bassano, was inspired by an engraving after Raphael's version of the subject (Prado, Madrid).

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